Experience the power of steam with a top-notch steam mop that effortlessly eliminates dirt, grime, and scuffs from your floors and surfaces. Say goodbye to cleaning solutions, as these high-quality steam mops rely solely on steam to achieve spotless results. Steam not only lifts away dirt but also loosens stains and spills, making them easier to remove using other cleaning methods.
If you’re new to the world of steam mops, you may have some questions about how they work. According to Melissa Homer, a member of The Spruce’s Cleaning Review Board and Chief Cleaning Officer at MaidPro, the growing interest in steam cleaning aligns with the green trend, as steam provides a chemical-free yet highly effective cleaning solution.
To bring you the best steam mops available, we conducted extensive testing in The Lab and real-life home environments. Our evaluation focused on factors such as effectiveness, capacity, steam output, and included accessories. Discover the ultimate steam mops that will revitalize and refresh your floors.
PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop
Our Ratings Ease of Use: 5/5 Effectiveness: 4.8/5 Portability: 5/5 Ease of Cleaning: 4/5 Maneuverability: 4/5
What We Like:
- Versatility as an upright or handheld steamer
- Lightweight design
- Affordable price
- Easy-to-replace cleaning pad
What We Don’t Like:
- Mop head tends to turn easily
- Mop head flips up over sticky stains
- Cord could be longer
The PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop Cleaner is our top choice due to its exceptional performance, versatility on various surfaces, and the inclusion of multiple attachments and replacement cleaning pads. In our lab tests, it received perfect scores for ease of use, portability, and value. It efficiently removed all stains, and it exceeded the manufacturer’s heating time estimate by heating up in under 30 seconds. The lightweight design makes it effortless to maneuver around your home. The accompanying manual is concise yet informative, with helpful illustrations that provide clear instructions on how to use the mop effectively.
One notable feature is its ability to clean both floors and fabrics. The detachable handheld steamer allows you to tackle upholstery, curtains, and even clothing. The availability of replacement pads makes it convenient to switch out the cleaning pad, especially after steam cleaning a muddy area. During our lab testing, we observed that the large mop head easily rotated on flat surfaces, although its size might pose challenges in tight spaces. However, this larger size also enables faster cleaning in larger areas. The built-in pump emits a sound and vibration when the water tank runs out, which is a useful alert.
The only minor issue we encountered during testing was the mop occasionally flipping up when passing over sticky stains. Additionally, the cord length is shorter compared to other models on our list, which could be inconvenient in rooms with limited outlets. Nevertheless, considering the positive features and affordable price, the PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop Cleaner remains our top choice overall.
Long-Term Performance: We are pleased to report that our long-term testing confirmed the excellent performance of the PurSteam 10-in-1. It has consistently delivered outstanding results in a home environment, proving to be effective on various surfaces such as hard floors, windows, grout, and even clothing, surpassing our initial lab testing. The mop pads have withstood washing machine cycles without issues. The 12.8-ounce water tank has been sufficiently large for regular cleaning, requiring refills only between cleaning sessions. In our at-home testing, we found the cord length adequate for cleaning a room, although switching outlets was necessary when moving to different rooms. Fortunately, the mop heats up quickly, allowing for easy shutdown and relocation to a new outlet. We continue to hold the PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop Cleaner in high regard and confidently recommend it.
Reliable 300CU Steam Floor Mop
- Self-standing design for convenient storage
- Easy to carry and maneuver, especially in corners
- Includes a scrub brush head for tackling stubborn messes
- No specific cons mentioned
Reliable irons are renowned for their exceptional steam output in GH Cleaning Lab tests, so it’s no surprise that their steam mops perform exceptionally well too. This model stands out with its triangular swivel head, which makes it particularly effective at reaching and cleaning corners. Additionally, it comes with a scrubber brush that effortlessly handles tough, stuck-on messes and is especially efficient at cleaning dirty tile grout, surpassing the cleaning power of steam alone.
One notable advantage of this steam mop is that it includes two microfiber pads, ensuring you always have a clean one ready to use. Additionally, it features a glide attachment that easily snaps onto the head for refreshing carpets. The slim design and large handle make it effortless to carry up and down stairs, while the conveniently placed on-demand steam button allows for easy access and control. With this steam mop, you’ll find that minimal effort is required for outstanding cleaning results.
- Steam output: On-demand
- Cord length: 21 feet
- Adjustable steam: Yes
- Attachments: Yes
Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Scrubbing & Sanitizing Steam Mop
- Versatile model that can effectively clean and sanitize hard floors
- Flip-down scrubber included for tackling sticky messes
- Swivel steering allows for easy and quick maneuverability
- Flexible head reaches difficult-to-access areas
- Fragrance disks may have an overpowering scent
If you’re in search of a steam mop that can meet all your cleaning needs, this model is our top recommendation. It offers the flexibility to switch between high, medium, and low steam settings, allowing you to customize the cleaning power based on the level of mess. The swivel steering feature ensures effortless movement and navigation. The flexible head proves invaluable when dealing with spills and stains in hard-to-reach places.
Included with the steam mop are two pads: a soft one for regular cleaning and a firm one for deep cleaning. For particularly stubborn or dried-on spots, the flip-down scrubber on the back of the mop provides extra cleaning power. It can even be used on grout. If you enjoy the refreshing scent of a freshly cleaned kitchen, you have the option to purchase de-mineralized scented water, available in various fragrances. However, it’s important to note that the fragrance disks may have a strong scent that some users may find overpowering.
- Price at time of publish: $93
- Cord Length: 23 feet
- Weight: 6 pounds
- Tank Capacity: 16 ounces
- Adjustable Steam: Yes
- Suitable for Floor Types: Sealed hardwood, ceramic, linoleum, granite, and marble floors
Shark S5003D Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket Steam Mop
Our Ratings Ease of Use: 3.5/5 Effectiveness: 4/5 Portability: 4.5/5 Ease of Cleaning: 4.5/5 Maneuverability: 5/5
- Easy and intuitive to use
- Quick heating
- Effective in removing stains
- Portable and easy to carry
- Maneuverable with swivel head
- Lacks an on/off button
- Requires multiple passes to remove stubborn stains like syrup
- Grout cleaner may not be entirely effective
The Shark S5003D Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket Steam Mop offers convenient portability and user-friendly operation. Its weight and design make it easy to carry around, even with a full tank. The mop proves effective in removing various types of stains, although darker and stickier spots may require additional passes and some extra effort, particularly when cleaning grout. The steam blaster option provides an extra burst of steam, aiding in the removal of hot sauce and syrup stains, as well as a significant portion of grime in grout (although it may not be as effective as other models tested). The swivel head allows for effortless maneuvering around corners and under furniture edges, ensuring thorough steaming coverage.
While the steam mop heats up quickly, it takes about 10 minutes to cool down. However, once cooled, the dirty mop head can be easily ejected without having to touch it, as the mop is advertised as “never touch a dirty pad again.”
- Price at time of publish: $110
- Tank Capacity: 11.8 oz.
- Steam Output: On-demand
- Weight: 5.77 lbs.
- Cord Length: 22 ft.
- Accessories: 3
Hoover Steam Complete Pet
Our Ratings Ease of Use: 5/5 Effectiveness: 5/5 Portability: 3.5/5 Ease of Cleaning: 4/5 Maneuverability: 3.5/5
Why You Should Get It: This steam mop offers the convenience of a removable handheld steamer, allowing you to easily clean smaller areas like ovens and stovetops throughout your house.
Keep in Mind: The handheld parts can become heavy when filled with water.
When you choose this Hoover steam cleaner, you not only get an effective and affordable steam mop, but also ten versatile tools, including a handheld cleaner, fabric steamer, window cleaner, and various bristle brushes.
Overall, we found this steam cleaner to be extremely user-friendly. It heats up quickly, the instructions are clear, and the controls are intuitive. During our testing, it performed well in removing stains, and when we switched to the handheld mode with the grout cleaner attachment, it impressed us even more.
While it is marketed as a pet steam mop, it offers benefits beyond just pet owners. The detachable handheld device is a useful addition for cleaning pet toys as well as various bathroom and kitchen items.
The mop itself is lightweight, but the handheld device can become heavy when filled with water, especially during extended use. Despite this, it still provides good value and proves helpful for both homes with pets and those without furry companions.
Price at Time of Publish: $110 Product Details: Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 39 inches Weight: 11 pounds Cord Length: 26 feet Recommended Surface: Tile, grout, hardwood, carpet, and other sealed hard floors
What to Consider Before Buying a Steam Mop
Before purchasing a steam mop, there are a few important factors to consider. These include the length of the cord, the tank capacity for distilled water, the presence of a warranty, and the weight of the mop itself.
Why are these considerations important? Well, the weight of a steam mop can affect its water-holding capacity. Lighter models may have smaller tanks, which means more frequent refills. However, if you prefer a lighter mop for ease of maneuverability, this may be a worthwhile trade-off. Similarly, if you’re planning to clean a large space, a longer cord will allow you to reach every corner without the need for frequent unplugging and re-plugging.
Another advantage of steam mops is their pet-friendliness. Since they rely solely on steam for cleaning, they eliminate the need for harsh chemicals typically found in cleaning products, making them safer to use around pets.
Now, let’s explore the difference between a steam mop and a regular mop. While regular mops rely on various cleaning agents to tackle different floor surfaces, steam mops utilize steam alone to effectively clean different types of floors and hard-to-reach areas. This means you can forgo the use of harsh chemicals and simply rely on heated water for cleaning purposes.
So, how do steam mops work? Begin by vacuuming your floor to remove loose debris. Then, attach a mopping pad to the steam mop. Before plugging it into the wall, ensure that the water tank is filled to avoid any electrical mishaps. Turn on the mop and wait for the water to heat up and reach the appropriate steam level. To release steam, press the steam button, and then you can start moving the cleaning pad back and forth across your floor for a shiny finish.
Many steam mops also offer the convenience of detachable units with swivel heads. This allows you to reach higher surfaces, such as the top of kitchen cabinets, making it easier to clean and sanitize hard-to-reach areas.
By considering these factors and understanding how steam mops differ from regular mops, you can make an informed decision when choosing the right steam mop for your cleaning needs.
Can I use a steam mop on a wood floor?
“We recommend never using a steam mop on any real wood floor,” said Brett Miller, vice president of Technical Standards, Training, and Certification for the National Wood Flooring Association.
He said steam can travel between the cracks and into the cells of the wood itself. “This can permanently damage the wood and the floor’s finish,” he said. Even a traditional mop and bucket may introduce too much water. Instead, Miller suggests using a broom or microfiber mop daily, a vacuum weekly, and cleaning with a professional wood floor cleaning product monthly.
Can I use a steam mop on other types of floors?
As a general rule, “avoid using steam mops on any flooring that is unsealed,” said Leanne Stapf, COO of The Cleaning Authority. Engineered wood and bamboo can suffer from the same issues as hardwood. Laminate flooring is also susceptible to warping from steam, and excessive heat can damage vinyl.
Bissell also warns that the use of a steam mop could reduce a floor’s glossiness.
While manufacturers generally say tile and linoleum flooring are safe for steam mops, keep in mind that excessive heat or water could still cause problems. Don’t leave the steam mop in one place for too long, and it’s a good idea to test the mop in a hidden area before cleaning your whole floor. You may also want to limit the frequency of your steam mopping.
Will a steam mop sanitize a floor?
Technically, yes but not without some effort. Temperatures of between 140 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit are often enough to kill bacteria and viruses, though it’s not instantaneous. Water boils and produces steam and 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and some steam mops get even hotter.
While that’s technically hot enough to kill germs, the manuals for the Bissell machines instruct you to slowly pass the mop back and forth over a spot three times, while the Shark Steam & Scrub S7001 requires 15 passes on the highest setting. Keep in mind that sanitizing reduces the number of bacteria while disinifecting kills most of them. There are less intensive ways to disinfect surfaces.
How do you use a steam mop?
Stapf recommends sweeping or vacuuming first to get rid of dust, dirt, crumbs, and other debris on the floor. You’ll need to fill the reservoir with water and attach a mop cloth.
Start with a clean cloth, Stapf said. “You may need to replace the cloth as you mop, depending on the size of the room you’re cleaning,” she said. You’ll also want to wait until the mop is producing steam before you start cleaning, usually between 30 seconds and a minute.
“It’s helpful to work your way from one side of the room to the other, to make sure you clean the entire floor and avoid missing any areas as you go,” said Stapf.
What should I look for in a steam mop?
“Hot water is pivotal for an effective steam mop,” said Stapf. She recommended steam mops that can reach water’s boiling point of 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stapf also said it’s a good idea to consider the size and weight of the mop so you can ensure it’s comfortable to use.
Can you put vinegar in a steam mop?
“When it comes to steam mops, it’s best to stick to the basics,” said Stapf. “Regular warm water should do the trick.” Most manufacturers warn against putting anything other than water in the machines’ tanks.
Do I need to use distilled water in my steam mop?
Many manufacturers suggest using distilled or demineralized water, especially if you have hard water, to avoid mineral buildup and prolong the life of your steam mop.
Why does my steam mop leave my floors streaky or cloudy?
First, check the mop pad you’re cleaning with. If it’s dirty, you may be redepositing grime back onto your floor. If the cloth is clean, you may be trying to clean a waxed or oiled floor.
Steam mops can decrease the glossiness of polishes and waxes, leaving floors looking streaked or cloudy.